Monday, August 16, 2010

Picnic Table

This is my first wood project ever. Actually, it's really the first time I've ever wielded a saw or a drill. So while it's not perfect, it's not a half bad attempt at teaching myself basic carpentry with the fabulous instructions by Anna at Knock off Wood.

The process:
I didn't buy the super cheap wood. It all looked warped to begin with, so I bought the whiteboard. I figured I needed all the help I could since I've never made anything before. All together, screws and everything, I think I spent $30.

I didn't have access to a good electric saw. Well, I guess I could have paid a neighbor do it for me, but I kind of wanted to "own" this first project, cutting and all. I did all of this with a hand saw and a miter box and/or a make shift "miter box imitation" for the boards that didn't fit. I don't suggest doing either of these things. It was virtually impossible to get a square, level cut. At first glance it all seemed to be just dandy, but when I started putting everything together, it was not fantastic. I had to do quite a bit of sanding to make up for my less than perfect cuts to get the legs to sit level on the ground.

I did have fun with my 2 year old.
He enjoyed watching and "helping" me make it.
I love that he knows that mommy made it and not daddy.

When I got to the last two seat boards, I forgot to pre-drill the hole. I hit a knot and busted the support. I was SO angry. So very, very angry. I cried, and yelled. Maybe even cursed. I ended up having to unscrew and pry off the support board and re-do that side. It worked out in the end, but what a pain.

Here's the complete table with the first coat of paint (goblin husband used it for a Warhammer table top, and there was a lot left over, so I figured, why not?). I will do a second coat when it cools off a smidgen. I only did the first coat so I could put it outside and reclaim my kitchen (It was in there for over a month). 107* with 50% humidity is just not ideal for working outside! It's been above 90* at night, so I don't even want to do it then. Blech. This is the time I hate living in TX.

And here are a few videos of my 1 year old enjoying the table.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Challenges

Seasonal: Halloween
Sure it's not October, but the time it takes me to finish projects, it's time to start thinking about Halloween!
If you were hoping for back to school ideas, they're doing a whole month's worth over at Sew Mama Sew.

Trick or Treat Totes from our favorite LeAnne at Everyday Celebrations
I am determined to make Dean and Walter these.

Fabric Pumpkins by my good friend Erin at Schlosser Designs
I made a couple of these last year. They're cute.

Self and Child crafts: Finish something you've already started! That's what I'll be doing at least.

Recipe Recommendation: Hummus and Pitas
We just had them tonight (not our first time, by any means) and they're so yummy.

A few tips on the pita recipe:
  1. The dough is a really soft dough. Don't roll the pieces out into a circle until seconds before you put it in the oven or it will relax too much and stick to the counter and/or stretch out too much.
  2. They won't puff correctly if they're too thin, either.
  3. I've found in my oven they brown quicker on the bottom, so don't wait till the top is browned. 4 min. makes a much softer pita.
  4. I do a wet towel on top of the pitas rather than put them in a bag. I've found it to be easier and more effective.